Neal Erickson, was convicted last spring of the repeated rape of a young boy from 2006-2009. He was, at the time of his crime, a teacher at Rose City Middle School in Rose City, MI.
Erickson’s fellow teachers and his/their union, the Michigan Education Association, think that’s no big deal: they argued for leniency at the time of last spring’s sentencing, and now they’re looking for severance pay–$10,000—for Erickson. Fellow teacher Sally Campbell wrote a letter to the presiding judge:
Neal made a mistake. He allowed a mutual friendship to develop into much more.
Much more. Yeah. For three years, Neal made his “mistake.” Hey-ho, nothing serious though, nothing to see here, says the union. Even the district’s school board condones Erickson’s behavior; that body has refused to take any action against the teachers who rallied to Erickson’s excusal—not even public condemnation of their behavior.
When it became clear that the other teachers in the school were actively supporting Erickson, downplaying his rape behavior, and that the school board was refusing to do anything on its own, parents started taking their children out of the school. Enrollment is down some 87%.
West Branch-Rose City School Superintendent Daniel Cwayna is all wide-eyed innocence:
I can’t speculate as to why the students have left, but there were certainly parents who vocalized that they were pulling their children out of school because of the teacher’s support[.]
Here’s a thought: maybe it’s because a teacher crew, a union, and a school board that condone child molestation can’t be trusted with children.